Ban on forced labour products not included in Due Diligence Proposal

The European Commission Communication

Although the European Parliament had repeatedly asked for it, the European Commission decided not to include an instrument to ban forced labour products in the HRDD/ Sustainable Corporate Governance Draft Proposal. However, it decided that the ban on forced labour products will be addressed in future legislation. In the meantime, it presented a communication without any approximate timetable for the publication of this instrument. 

President von der Leyen addressed new legislative instrument to effectively ban products made by forced labour from entering the EU market in her State of the Union address 2021. The Commission states that this instrument will cover goods produced inside and outside the EU, combining a ban with a robust enforcement framework. It will build on international standards and complement existing horizontal and sectoral EU initiatives, in particular the due diligence and transparency obligations.

However, the Communication did not go into further detail but referred to:

  • work in international bodies such as the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO);
  • trade agreements;
  • EU law with human rights implications such as the directive on trafficking in human beings, or the proposed directive on corporate sustainability reporting (CSRD);
  • the EU’s enlargement policy.